B+W FILM 101 $50

Join us  for a hands-on lesson in how to develop your very own roll of B+W film. If you've had laying around undeveloped, or have always been curious to take out that old camera, now's the chance to learn how to get your hands dirty and develop your own film!

A negative sleeve is recommended for  safely transporting your developed film. Chicago Community Darkroom will supply all the chemistry and equipment necessary, all you need to bring is an undeveloped roll of B+W film and we'll show you the rest! (Note: C-41 process film cannot be used)

Monday Feb. 6th 6:30-10PM


PRINTING 101 $60

Join us for Printing 101, a class catered to those who have the interest, but maybe not the skills, to bring photographs to life. We will show you how to print your black and white negatives onto emulsion paper, from start to finish.

Topics include photographic chemistry, contact sheets, when and why to use test strips, and techniques to help you get a print you can be proud of. 

Photographic paper will be provided, however we encourage you to bring in your own negatives to print from.

Friday Feb. 10th  7-10pm







Description: Explore the history and thought processes behind some of the major photographic genres in a class that incorporates short lectures, projects, and critiques. We will discuss the modernist photographers' passion for design, the role of photographic portraiture in shaping identity, and the changing face of landscape photography. Students will have the chance to shoot analog film and create photographic prints in response to each theme presented and then receive feedback in critique.

Each student will be required to use the darkroom to complete weekly class assignments. Two darkroom orientation sessions need to be completed before the start of the class. Orientation sessions will be Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesdays at 5pm, and Thursdays at 6pm.


Edward Weston

Modernists & Their Break From Pictorialism: The first photographers who wanted to use the camera as an expressive (rather than purely scientific) tool felt that they had to make photographs that looked like paintings or drawings. “Pictorialists,” as they were called, intentionally blurred their images and framed subjects with lots of surrounding space so as to make their images more closely resemble what artists in other mediums were doing at the time. Modernist photographers were the first to really take advantage of the specifics of the photographic medium – varying depth of field, cropping, sharp focus, motion blur – to make images that exploited rather than hid their photographic origins. They used these techniques in combination with the elements of design – line, form, texture, etc. – to build a unique form of expressive language

Portraiture: Photographic portraiture and ideas about identity are closely intertwined. The invention of photography began to democratize the portrait genre, as the middle class could now afford to have images made of their loved ones. Many of the first commercial portrait studios drew heavily on the influence of the historical painted portraiture of the aristocracy, including such props as corinthian columns, thick drapery, and overstuffed chairs. Such a set-up serves to reveal the aspirations of the portrait sitters. We will discuss other ways in which photographic portraits have communicated identity and aspirations, covering such categories as psychological portraiture, environmental portraiture, self examination, and type-casting. I'll also provide some practical tips for working with lighting and portrait subjects.

Landscape – How Does Photography Shape Our Ideas About Land Use? In the history of the United States, landscape photography has been used to survey land for acquisition, to influence the government in favor of national parks, and to show the effects of housing and commercial development. Land is also photographed as an act of commodification (alluring to tourists and calendar consumers), as evidence of environmental crisis, and for purposes of communicating memory, spirituality and allegory. Our bodies are in contact with the earth and its elements daily. We shape the land and it shapes us. How do we create landscape images that go beyond the typical postcard variety?

Elizabeth (Betsy) Curtis has just returned to the Chicago area after living for 11 years on the island of Oahu. She received her MFA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2011, and has worked as a photography lecturer since that time. Curtis makes both commercial photographs and conceptually based personal work which can be viewed at www.ElizabethRCurtis.com. Her personal work is concerned with ideas about photographic history and identity.